...and indeed, it is! This is a perfect old-school sherry maturation without any flaws but a lot of highlights like these adorable chocolatey flavours with a powerful backing of oranges and other fruits. Anyone out there who does not like orange-infused high-quality chocolate? Great stuff to quaff!
The colour is russetmuscat and the nose offers a delicate and flawless sherry profile which is in good balance with both the malt and wood. It is more of the herbal-driven type so I guess the sherry casks were coopered using European oak. After some breathing the nose releases more malt-induced aromas of barley sugars and floral-grassy notes which are a nice addition to the sherry. I like this nose. After a longer oxydation leathery aromas join in together with whiffs of furniture polish. The wood grows stronger, too. By the way, this is one of the few drams that smell better out of a standard Glencairn glass than out of a big spheric blender's glass.
The taste is driven more by the sherry flavours (which is by no means bad) and it focusses on different chocolate notes (both milk and dark) with pieces of citric fruits (mostly oranges and sweet grapefruit). It is nicely layered with some coffee beans popping up later, this is adorable! No flaw or imbalance here either and the wood is about to be perfect in this setting. Water is not needed because it does not improve neither the nose nor the taste - the neat dram is perfect as it is.
The dram arrives warming on the palate but the coating effect is limited. No distracting bitter or astringent moments during this mouthfeel. The finish is of medium length and adds more of the delicious dark chocolatey flavours together with spices (you know, my favourite combo). There is a minor bitter impression towards the end which reminds me more of tobacco or green tea than of heavy tannins and it is not distracting at all.